I am all for organisations running their own race.
And of course I want you to be creative and to have an individualised approach to your marketing efforts.
But this does not mean that you should ignore your competitors – far from it!
If you’ve spent some time on your marketing approach you will have a clear idea of what your point of difference is and you’ll have created your key messages around that. So your marketing should be highlighting how you differ from your competitors anyway (generally in a generic sense, rather than as a direct comparison – unless you are really brave and want to try something like the Duracell vs Energizer approach).
But there is a heap of different ways to get your message out there and you want to make sure you are harnessing all the right ones.
So checking regularly with the marketing approach of your competitors is a good way to ensure you are not missing something, enable you to avoid something that is not effective and optimise your point of difference.
A word of warning though – don’t get bogged down in what your competitors are doing. Don’t copy their approach and don’t focus on it. You should just be reviewing their approach so you understand the marketplace you are operating within.
An easy place to start is with their website. You can review the tone of the writing, the imagery used, the number of pages their website has, how they display their products/services, what type of call-to-action they use – the list is endless! From the website you can often view their brochures, any media coverage they’ve had, awards they have won or been a finalist in, the social media outlets they use.
All of this is vital information for you to have a sense of their marketing strategy.
Then step back and try to be objective about it and decide what elements you think they are doing better, worse or the same as you.
Your next step is to tweak what you’re doing the same, so you can accelerate ahead of them!
Where they are doing things better than you is a great opportunity for you to be innovative and consider how you can change your marketing approach in that area to affect a better result.
But if you want to take your overall marketing approach to the next level I highly recommend you sign up for one of my 6-week online workshops, to help YOU take control of the marketing for your business.
The Marketing GP team has an extensive range of skills and experience, covering every element of what we do; marketing and communication.